Everyone we knew then said that what Joy and I had found was just sex at first sight and not love, hence would not stand the test of time. But we have been at it for 11 years and frankly, I wouldn’t change a thing.
“How could people who would go on to have a serious relationship meet on a bus in traffic on a Lagos road?” They would ask, not minding their own business. Briggs, who was supposed to be my friend was particularly annoying and fond of bringing it up any chance he got.
To that I would reply, “How can two people sharing such great sex ever go their separate ways?”
But it was easier said than done. I mean, everyone said it so often that I started to believe it. To say the truth, I started to believe them not just because of the way we had met, which was indeed, on a bus in traffic on a Lagos road, it was also the sex, how good it was, the blood pumping urgency of it all, the always ready attitude that was altogether us. Still is us. I had never met a woman like Joy and, sink or swim, this was the one for me.
Didn’t they say that when you meet the one, you would know? I could feel it the moment she stepped on that danfo bus during rush hour in Ikeja directly after me. I felt it in every facet of my being. One moment we were rushing on the bus and the next we were looking each other in the eyes and catching our breaths. This was the thunderbolt if ever there was one. But I must have been too terrified to speak up, to let her know how I was feeling, how I wanted only to get off the bus and head back home with her hand in hand. The caution must have been because of my painful past in unrequited love. But I did not approach her then and was poised to lead an empty life without Joy until fate intervened. As it turned out, she was headed to my workplace in Yaba to begin her industrial training.
“How did your first day go?” I asked when I ran into her at the gate at the close of work.
“It went well,” she said in that voce of hers that was nothing short of an invitation to proceed.
We went on to talk about everything as we headed back to Ikeja where I shared a three-bedroom flat with friends and she stayed a few streets away with friends.
She spent that night a Friday and the rest of the weekend in my room. We only stepped out to get fresh clothes for Monday from her and got a chance to catch a breath from the sex.
As soon as we reached my room in the flat that Friday evening, we were kissing before we had a chance to close the door. Her lips on mine, her tongue searching and finding mine. We were like two teenagers finding sex for the first time and I was soon between her legs singing like an enthusiastic chorister.
It started like a joke. You know the kind that is bitter and funny all at once. She’d forward those text messages that made you pause mid-work and think about life, laugh. Suddenly, I found myself laughing at work. It was a good feeling because I had always hated my job. I was only doing it till I could do what I really wanted, which was music. I wanted to be a musician and teach all those pretenders how to do it. Showbiz was my life, it flowed in my veins like life-giving blood, it was why I was still alive. I had a plan and this was supposed to be the first stage until Joy got pregnant. There was no question that it was for me. I have already mentioned the sex. And anytime we were at my place, we just couldn’t take our hands off each other, 11 years, two months and three days today, I still feel exactly the same way.
Then she graduated to stopping beside my table on her way to the toilet, which was to the right of me in the hall that was our office. She drank a lot of water which made her come to my table a great deal.
“Water is good for you. It is the best beverage the world will ever have. Drink a lot of it and you will look good. I started drinking water when I was only a baby, thanks to my granddad. God rest his soul,” was something she was always saying. I believed her because she was the most beautiful woman that I had ever laid my eyes on.
“Have you thought about going for a beauty pageant?” I had asked her the moment I found my voice on the day of our meeting.
“Are you not even going to ask me my name?” she had queried, her voice pouring like soft oil on very dry skin.
“Sorry, you are so beautiful every other thing pales in significance. What’s your name and have you at least tried your hands at modelling?”
“Joy, and that is what everybody tells me. But I don’t think I can stand the klieg lights. I’m made for the office. What’s your own name?”
“Bob,” I’d told her. As time sped by I told her more things about myself, more things than anyone alive knew about me. I felt I could tell Joy everything, anything.
The company had let her stay at the reception but she did so well, as if her hands were made to work in an office, they offered her a job to work directly with our Lebanese boss, Kumar. He was a smart fellow profiting from the lack of electricity in the country by providing generators he imported cheap from China and sold at exorbitant prices to hapless Nigerians.
I couldn’t stop thinking that Joy’s hands should be doing things to me, giving me a massage, wrapped around me. I couldn’t stop or think of any other thing except her lips around my member and me deep inside of her.
When she left to complete her studies, I was like a dog on heat, I just had to have her, I called her every day, sent her emails, chatted her on my phone, prayed for her.
She soon returned to take up her appointment.
I was over the moon about her and things daily fell into place when she started doing more than stop at my table and began to offer me things; food, money and even an occasional massage right there where everyone else could see us.
I was enjoying it all, the attention, the fact that someone, a woman as fine as Joy would spend her time with me, awed me.
The only bleep on our radar all these years has been the fact that the pregnancy I mentioned before ended up in a miscarriage. But we have weathered that storm and many others in our otherwise happy relationship. We are not set to invite all the doubting Thomases who thought this could never get off the ground to our wedding in a few weeks.
Our story shows that no two cases are the same, not everyone who meets on a bust and likes sex so much will soon part ways.